عنوان مقاله [English]
Today, critical realism as an interdisciplinary approach especially in field of urban and regional studies creates positive and significant differences. Issues of methodology have strong relations with explanation and priority of agency together with theory structures. In this paper, critical realism, that is in contrast with epistemological positions of traditional and predominant approaches of positivism, has been considered as synthetic and dialectical insight to mean theory of urban and regional planning.
Critical realism allows using of method of natural sciences in social sciences, but rejects positivistic perspective in favor of alternative perspective. In reproductive strategy of critical realism, a theory or explanation comes from by affirmation of existence hypothesized mechanisms and structures that are responsible for development of observable, regular succession. In this strategy, models have essential roles. These are used for abstract description of regular succession or studying events. According to critical realism Paradigm, whatever researches tend to searching causative structures and mechanisms, researches take qualitative and abstract aspect. But if researches tend to concrete events and studying things, mainly researches take quantitative and concrete aspect.
Critical realism presents a methodological perspective which takes a critical stance towards positivism and hermeneutics on the one hand and tries to integrate strong points from both theories of science on the other hand. Contemporary critical realism is formulated by Roy Bhaskar and his like-minded circle of British colleagues. If we take explanation to be the core purpose of science critical realism seems to emphasis thinking instead of experiencing, and especially the process of abstraction from the domains of the actual and the empirical world to the transfactual mechanisms of the real world. This kind of thinking has made Bhaskar talking about ‘transcendental realism’ in his early writings, emphasizing the crossing of the divide between the empirical and the speculative activities of scientific work. This is so because the experienced world of events is not explainable in terms of the empirical facts, but only by way of incorporating non-experienced mechanisms incorporated in objects which may be within or outside our domain of investigation.
In this study, relationships between agents that are producer of result of development classified based on critical realism into two categories and three levels: mechanisms or policies for tourism (the real) provides guidelines for the tourism industry, and agents and stakeholders (the actual), that instructions in different ways to produce different results that have already been experienced in cities (the empirical) explain.
Results and Discussion
Comprehensive perspective of city as a system that has the related social, physical, economic and institutional subsystems, is similar to critical realism. Logic of communication which theorized critical realism, help to comprehensive perspective of urban systems (structure) with interrelated subsystems. Of course, when urban systems versus open social systems, are considered as a closed social system, distance from comprehensive of critical realism. Since critical realism take account to both environmental constrains and structures and effective forces and decision-makers, it can be adequate as a integrated approach for studying relation between city sociospatial organization and its agencies, and with organizing ‘planning theory’ provide qualitative appraisal of existing solutions and options. From view point of critical realism, focus is wrong logic, on prediction, universal and objective knowledge, explanatory statistical models and Poperian theory in context of scientific and falsification criteria in comprehensive model. Planning theory examines realities and values as well as tools and goals in connection with each other and not independently. Bhaskar suggest processing planning theory that involves shaping goals and identifying and spreading options, in contrast decision-making paradigm limits right of choice among presented options and predetermined goals (instrumental logic model). Critical realism with dialectic insight between realms of environment and society has created internal relation in shape of new and rooted phenomen. In spite of identifying differences between tow realms, should confirm that their layered and internal linkages connect in the fundamental unity to each other. However, unification in light of lawful mechanisms and structures which act in form of paraphenomen or antiphenomen, aim of urban and regional studies. Empiricism and positivism study sociospacial phenomena by pure focus on observable events generally. However, as critical realism suggests, causative interpretation behind the sociospatial events are not reveal by research method of empiricism and positives, because they focus only on observable and regular events. In critical realism, we see some instances of ‘planning theory’ that aim to mixing and creating relation between different combatting realms.
Critical realism provides a dialectic direction for reorganizing of planning theory and referred to integrated frameworks that mix abstract and concrete concepts like as global and local, appearance and content, geography (place) and history (time) rather than they treat as bottleneck. Dialectic factor that explains practices between individuals and emphasizes on universality of society, is necessary means for widespread social transformation and critical realism appear in realm of social practice of individuals and brings about self- consciousness and liberty of humans. Moreover, as a socio-special component, it awares us about theory of regional development. Critical realism challenges paradigms of up to bottom development; these paradigms are regional drivers for development and regional diversity hidden influences of global and national changes, as well. This paper showed that instead abstract understanding of planning theories and categorizing these to essence and process according to epistemology of critical realism that practice-theory interaction is its sensitivity, theories are understanded by mediation of temporal and spatial position, and urban and regional studies are leaded to theories that have much more normative aspect and integrate essence-process dualism to each other.